Ripping around on sand dunes is an awesome way to ride, but they’re a different kind of turf and can be very challenging. Maximize the good time you can have by always following these safety tips:
Attach a brightly colored, 8-10 foot high, antenna flag to your machine to stay visible to other riders on the dunes. Check with your state's regulations for any specific height requirements.
Stay alert for any changes in the sand – with a good blast of wind the dune formations can be completely changed. Don’t expect the trail to look the same on your return trip.
Avoid riding on wet sand or in areas close to a water source (wet sand can develop into quicksand).
Never ride on vegetation. It’s tough for anything to grow in sand dunes – so don’t make it more difficult.
- Look out for hazardous land features like razorbacks (this is the sharp peak of a dune that has a steep drop on either side).
- Ride with a buddy or a group. It’s easy to get lost in sand dunes and it can be tough to find your way back on foot without any obvious landmarks. You’ll want to have a working machine if one breaks down out there.
- Carry a map and check it frequently to determine your location.
- Take care when the sun is directly overhead as this will create a lack of shadows on the sand and make obstacles more difficult to see.
RIDER SAFETY TIP: WINDWARD SIDE VS. LEEWARD SIDE
The side of a sand dune where the wind is blowing from is called the ‘windward’ side. This side will have a nice, smooth slope. The other, sheltered side of the dune is called the ‘leeward’ side (or the ‘slip face’) and will likely have a steep drop-off. Watch out for this when you crest the dune.